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Confident Public Speaking: How to Project a Confident Attitude When Speaking in Public

Apr 18, 2008
Rule number one of confident public speaking is to know what you are talking about. The more you know about your subject, the easier it will be for you to feel confident speaking about it. Even the most experienced public speaker would not feel confident going up in front of an audience to hold a presentation about something he or she knew little or nothing about.

The second bit of advice I will give you is to write good notes. Even if you think you know everything by heart before you go up there, things might change when you find yourself in front of a few dozen people. Cue cards are better than written out sentences; the more words there are on your paper the harder it is to find the right ones with a quick glance. It is also easy to start reading the sentences out loud rather than talking to people. Remember there is a difference between confident public speaking and public reading. Unless you are an author who just had a book released, chances are people didn't come to hear you read.

When you write your cue cards, make sure you write or print large, easily readable words. Use bullet points; they can take you from one train of thought to the next in a coherent way with smooth transitions. Don't freak out if you miss a point, confident public speaking is not about delivering a perfect speech with all the points in a particular order; it's about delivering a message in a clear and inspiring way.

Confident public speaking requires that you are comfortable giving something of yourself. Anecdotes and small personal stories can be a good way to connect with your audience, but they won't work if you found the stories online and just memorized them before your speech. Keep it real.

Don't worry too much about who your audience is and what they may or may not like. As long as you have something to say and keep your topic and language within what's commonly considered decent and normal for discussion in most crowds, you will be fine. There is always the risk of upsetting someone in the audience, but confident public speaking is all about delivering your message unapologetically; your job is to deliver the speech and share the information, and not to make sure you pleased everybody in the crowd.

The third piece of advice on confident public speaking is to remember to think about your posture. A lot of us have a tendency to slump a little, and when we are insecure, this gets even worse. Stand up tall and deliver your speech with your gaze looking out on the audience and not down on you paper. Keeping a confident posture will not only help you look more confident; you will also be sending a signal to your subconscious about how confident you feel.

Confident public speaking can definitely be taught, but it isn't about one or two specific things that you can learn and off you go. A confident public speaker incorporates all of these little tips and mixes them in with his or her own ideas to create an original style. Most of all, what makes someone good at speaking in public is practice, sharing personal comments and having a good knowledge of their subject.
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